tv Disrupt With Karen Finney MSNBC January 18, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ hello, disrupters. i'm karen finney. coming up, new allegations drag chris christie's administration back into the fray as he tries to show florida donors he's stronger than the verse in new jersey. and shock -- fox news gets it wrong again! >> chris christie is in florida this morning on a fund-raising mission for the republican party. kristy is taking the trip after 20 subpoenas went out. >> subpoenas went out to the governor's office himself. >> the political peril he'sisn'.
>> i cannot give a windfall to one property owner because the governor wants me to in exchange for the sandy fund. so i'll tell you, i feel like i'm literally between the rock and a hard place. >> we contacted governor christie's office, and others and they all deny this. >> i'd be more than willing to testifying under oath and answer any questions and provide any documents and take a lie detector test. my question back to them is would all of you? >> all right. a shocking report by our own
steve kornacki. in an exclusive interview on msnbc the mayor of hoboken, new jersey said she believes the government held critical sandy aid hostage. remember hoboken after sandy? this is what it looked like, 80% underwater, its crucial infrastructure swamp ed. mayor don zimmer said top ranking members said funding would be at risk unless a project was supported. >> it's very complicated to really understand this but i have a legal obligation to follow the law. can i not give a windfall to one
property owner because the governor wants me to in exchanges for the sandy fund. so i'll tell you, i feel like i'm literally between a rock and a hard place. >> a spokesman for governor christie issued this statement in response to those allegations. "major zimmer has been effusive in her public praise of the governor's office and the assistance we've provided in terps of economic development and sandy aid. and "mayor zimmer's allegation that commissioner constable conditioned the receipt of sandy aid on her moving forward is false. >> i'd be more than happy to
testify under oath, take a lie detector test. my question back to you is would all of you? >> christie goes to the sunshine state for the first test on the national stage since the scandal broke. he'll get a chance to test the 2016 waters tomorrow at a me and greet with top donors in palm beach. can chris christie convince them he is stronger than this political storm? with this latest shocker on top of a round of 20 subpoenas issued this week to members of his inner circle, it's likely to be an uphill battle. joining me is debar wasserman-schultz and ed rendell, the former governor of indiana. thank you both for joining me. >> sure. >> i want to start with you,
congresswoman schultz, what is your reaction to this news from the mayor of hoboken? >> well, my reaction is that the smoke continues to build and billow around chris christie. the more spoke there, is the more it is likely that it leads to fire. we saw that with chris christie spending more than 120 days ignoring this growing scandal and finally was forced to come clean and in that more than two-hour press conference blamed a whole lot of other people and, you know, essentially said that his disappointment was that his staff lied to him, not that they wreaked havoc on his constituents. this latest scandal is someone who endorsed and supported chris christie and as a democratic mayor considered herself an ally. it's sort of the purest example
of someone who wouldn't want to call out chris christie on the bullying and finally realized, i think, that she wasn't alone. >> governor rendell, what's your reaction? if these allegations are true, this is pretty shocking. >> no question, and again they have to be prove wreproven. if they're true it shows government by threat, by extortion and government by bully persian gulf. >> we just received a statement from governor christie in response. "governor christie and his entire administration have been helping hoboken get the help they need after sandy, with the city already having been approved for nearly $70 million in federal aid. it's very clear partisan
politics are at play here as democratic mayors with a political ax to grind come out. congre . >> i'm not surprised. what's been the reaction of folks in florida? you just did a press conference. i'm curious to know what the response has been. >> let's take a look at the incongruity of the statement that was just released by christie's office. on the one hand he's calling mayor zimmer an ally and someone who was a supporter and at the same time suggesting that she's doing this as a result of partisan politics. it's hard for this to be both. this is evidence that chris christie is the worst kind of b bully. he's willing to use intimidation
tactics and retribution and as soon as there's some pushback, he runs crying that he's a victim. that's the worst example of bullying and the reaction in florida has been we already have a scandal-plagued governor here. it's not surprising me brought another one down to florida to help him.governor rendell, whate possibly tell people in these closed-door sessions to reassure them both for the purposes of supports the rga and then tomorrow for his own potential ambitions for 2016? >> it's a little easier today supporting the rga, he can talk about things they've done and the challenges they face. he can sort of shift it away from chris christie because he's
not on the ballot in 2014. tomorrow it's even harder. let's go back to the original bridgegate. if you accept governor christie at his word, you'd have to assume that a hands-on activist governor, and he is one, that for four days they knew there was a horrible traffic jam endangering public safety in an important part of their state and did nothing to stop it. the only inquiry that was made, is it was a traffic study. if it was me, i would say take that traffic study in the waste can and open up those lanes in the next 30 minutes or you're fired. any governor would have done that for his constituents. if he had nothing to do with it, why didn't he do that? >> one of the many unanswered questions. congresswoman, you just wrapped up a press conference. there was a statement that came out from the florida gop. they said in part that you
should take lessons in leadership from rick scott. i just want to remind folks that polls show him with about a 48% disapproval rating and steady decrease in approval throughout 2013. what is it that rick scott can teach you about leadership? >> well, forgive me if i don't think i should be emulating the leadership of a governor whose lieutenant governor resigned in a cloud scandal, whose commercial of education resigned in cloud of scandal, whose head of the prison didn't resigned in a cloud of scandal, whose chief of staff revealed he's lied about his education credentials on his resumé for years, who rick scott himself presided over a health care company who was given the largest medicare fraud fine in history and he, himself, pled the fifth during the investigation 77 times. so forgive me if i choose not to emulate rick scott's leadership
qualities. >> i had a feeling you might say that. >> governor rendell, you're laz former prosecutor. om curious on where this case goes next. 20 people have been subpoenaed. is it likely or how likely do you think it is the governor will utilize executive privilege? he sort of left that door open. he said he would cooperate with what he called "reasonable requests." what's your take on where this goes next? >> the trail is getting more and more circumstantial and more and more impressive. i think the governor is going to have to either fork over all those records and maybe even testify, but he run as real risk if he testifies of criminal prosecution if he's not telling the truth. i think you may see an effort to invoke an executive privilege
here. >> thank you both. >> coming up, the president announces changes to the government surveillance about that. what do members of congress say about that? that's coming up next. >> i don't think they were ever going to nominate a global loving, fort lee loving sort of guy. he just didn't fit the profile. we're gonna be late. ♪ ♪ ♪ oh are we early? [ male announcer ] commute your way with the bold, all-new nissan rogue. ♪
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congressman keith allison has been a vocal advocate for justice and equality. last year he ran for reelection and won a platform on fighting income inequality. now he's got a new book out called "my country 'tis of thee." congressman keith ellison, thank you for joining us. >> good to be here. >> eye wi'm wondering what your opinion is on the statements of the president on the nsa. >> he admitted that we were overclassified. i like the idea of a public
advocate, someone who will safeguard privacy and human rights to judges and liked the idea of a judicial finding before the database gets searched. there's things to like and a lot yet to be determined. >> one of the criticisms has been it doesn't go far enough. obviously congress is going to be involved, which is hopefully a good thing, you never know. but will you be looking at ways to go farther if you think that there are -- that's justified? >> well, you know, section 215 of the patriot act you could drive just a truck through. it just says any business record the government can look at and of course the government took full advantage of that. i'm going to engage the process and i think members of the progressive caucus are going to be engaged in the process. we don't want to prejudge what we can do but make sure what is offered is followed through on. i would encourage folks to say the president wants to deal with
this in a good faith way. let's take full advantage of that opportunity and make sure that we balance security and privacy in a way that comports with a democratic society. >> how do you ensure the safety, particularly after what's happened with target, how do you ensure that it remains secure. at least the government is accountable in theer eory to th people, the outside entity wouldn't be. >> it's just like if the police deputized somebody to say help us catch that guy, at some point there is some real ramifications to that kind decision. so i don't think that anyone gets off the hook if you have a government function being carried out, even by a private entity. >> i want to switch gears because congress went home, thanks to john boehner this weekend, without do anything -- >> i was ready to stay.
>> i bet you were. when it comes to extending unemployment insurance, the strategy the last time was members will go home, they'll hear from constituents, they'll come back ready to take action. senator reid said he's hoping that's what happens this time but it doesn't seem like they're willing to budge on this and they're going to hold certain things hostage before they're ready to consider voting on this. >> you're right. there's no indication speaker boehner is going to move on long-term unemployment. if you have talk the side talk at that members of congress do not in front of the camera, my friends on the other side of the aisle are telling me that nothing doing unless we give some major concession. i've said look here, man, we're talking about people who don't have any income, who are losing their apartments, who don't have enough food for their kids and there's sort of a callous attitude about it. my advice is if you are a member
of the long-term unemployed or you're related to or know somebody, please call your congress person. this is a time to be active and engaged and let the people who represent you know what you're going through. i know i've spent time doing it and i learned a lot. >> one of the things about this conversation is it's been vilified and makers and takers and the whole conversation has been twisted and distorted. you write about something in your book that i think is relevant to this conversation. you said the gi bill gave him the start he needed. he was on his way to graduation and a better life when he ran out of money and had to drop out. but he went to work at the detroit auto factory and made enough money to go back to school. that used to be the american story that we believed if you needed a little bit of help as a patch to get you through, that was a good thing. butch that's not the conversation that we're having
right now in washington. >> we're informed by politics of scarcity and fear. we're told there's not enough for seniors so we have to cut social security, not enough for the young so we have to cut head start. this is not true. our country is the wealthiest in the world and we can do good by everyone here. people doesn't want to rely on food stamps. >> of course. >> it is the low-wage employers who foist the money they won't pay on to the taxpayer, which i think is -- when it comes to the unemployed, unemployment is a patch to opportunity, it's a trampoline and it should be there when people have a tough time, just like the gi bill was there when my dad needed it. >> coming up, a pennsylvania judge strikes down the state's
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common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. i had to quit smoking to keep up with this guy. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. it was big news out of pennsylvania on friday where a judge ruled a voter i.d. requirement was an undue border. proponents pushed the bill through last year claiming it would combat voter fraud and one boasted it put the state in the mitt romney column in the election. >> has there been voter fraud in the past? yes, there's been legal cases. in the senate race in the 1990s there was one and i forget the name of the gentleman but there was a voter fraud issue going on at that time.
>> reporter: in person at the polls? >> i don't know the answer to that. that was before my time. >> this law only fixes that, in-person fraud. >> it makes sure that one person votes one time and that they are the person who they say they are. >> reporter: so the last care you're aware of -- >> i'm not comparing about cases. >> that's not exactly a compelling case, governor. >> and we have a bit of good news from capitol hill. some democrats and republicans are working together to protect voters nationwide. we're going to have more on that coming up next. [ male announcer ] the new new york is open. open to innovation. open to ambition. open to bold ideas. that's why new york has a new plan -- dozens of tax free zones all across the state. move here, expand here, or start a new business here and pay no taxes for ten years... we're new york. if there's something that creates more jobs, and grows more businesses...
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>> indeed it is, which is why so many of us are committed to ensuring that right is dealt to everyone. there was some good news this week. as a bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled legislation aimed at creating an updated solution to the issue of preclearance requirements. while the bipartisan unveil on thursday works to restore vital protections lost in last year's court decision, many agree there's more work to be done. for starters, the new bill doesn't take into account the discriminatory impact of voter i.d. laws that have cropped up
around the country. friday a pennsylvania judge struck down that state's restrictive voter i.d. law saying it was unconstitutional. it was a huge victory for voting rights. what if that ruling is appealed? and just a few miles west, ohio revealed it will join 26 other states in a controversial voter registration cross-check program. chris kobach says it's an aim to identify voters registered in more than one state. how are provisions in the new federal voting rights bill cover that justice? joining me, judith brown dianis
and maya wiley. congratulations, judith, that was a huge win. >> thanks, karen. huge win. >> starting with the new vra legislation, i want to talk about voter i.d., i believe it was in the statement that you put out, judith, you talked about a known practice coverage formula. up said practice that have traditionally been known to discriminate against voters would have to be precleared before going into effect. what would that look like? >> thanks for having me, karen. we know there are certain kinds of tools that have been used as the tools of voter suppression. so, for example, if you have a growing minority population and you used to have single-member districts to vote in and you moved to an at-large system, moving of polling places can
really hurt minorities. there should be a provision, if a jurisdiction uses one of these methods and they have a significant number of minority voters, it should be precleared. we're letting too many jurisdictions off the hook by waiting around for them to have a certain number of judgments before the department of justice will get involved. >> maya, one of the things about this new legislation we were talking about is it doesn't take into account voter i.d. and voter i.d. laws people think of as disenfranchised, older americans and african-americans and latino, but it's older people, rural people and a wider swath of people than realized. >> that's right. and if someone sues -- like in pennsylvania, under voter i.d. that, will count toward the count of number of violations for preclearance. s so that's a guy thing and
that's really important to recognize. but that is the political rub in terms of making a really strong act that protects every american's right to vote is are we actually going to say that no single political party can make it difficult for, say, women who got divorced, whose passport has their married name and driver's license has their maiden name. >> like in texas? >> like in texas. >> it struck me that supposedly the assumption was that voter i.d. would be handled, as in pennsylvania, by organizations like yours sort of on a stay-to-stay basis. but that i think present as real challenge because obviously it's incredibly expensive. you've got to make choices about where you're going to file litigation and where you're going to fight that fight.
do you think that was the assumption? >> yeah, i think so. i mean, we -- what's really difficult about this is that we really would have to take all of the these cases to a judgment in a court. you know, often, karen, we end up settling these voting rights cases. for example, i was counsel in the case against katherine harris in florida in 2000. a number of civil rights organizations worked together but we ended up settling that case. we know that florida discriminated against african-americans in 2000. and guess what, because we settled, because we came to a resolution, because we fixed the system, at least for a short time, that doesn't count towards preclearance. often that's hough caw cases en is that we settle them. so places like florida and north carolina, south carolina, alabama where this case came out of the shelby case would not be covered under this current formula. >> maya, spanking of voter i.d.,
congressman sensenbrenner said the following: what's a reasonable voter i.d. law? >> i would say the most reasonable is one that doesn't exist. i would say one that allows people multiple ways to identify they are who they are, like a bill, a utility bill. it's better to go back to the system that says we acknowledge we have a pretty good registration system and a good criminal justice system that prosecute when is we have a problem. and because we have a system that prosecutes, we don't have a voter fraud problem. we have a problem, though, with parties and candidates. if we want to pass laws to deal with that, i think that's where our time should be better
placed. >> final question to you, judith. one of the things that strikes me is we are seeing inventions of new ways to suppress the vote every day. even talking about this legislation and when you talked about, you know, a known practice coverage, what about things like cross-check, which is something i frankly just learned about this week, which is a way to essentially purge voters from the rolls and other tactics that we know are out there that may not yet be known as a voter suppression tactic? >> here's the thing, under the voting rights act, we'd still be able to bring those kind of cases against ohio. it's just the department of justice wouldn't have an automatic check on whether or not those things were discriminatory. so for those of who do this litigation and the department of justice, we're going to have to keep fighting it out. at the end of the day, we need a strong voting rights act, we need to make sure voters of color are protected.
we know too often politicians are trying to manipulate the vote for their own gain. election day is the one day we're all equal. doesn't matter if you're rich, poor, black, white, latino, asian. we all have the same power when we enter that booth. >> i hope both of you continue to keep up the good work. congratulations again, judith. and thank you, maya. >> coming up, you'll be shocked. fox news gets it wrong again. more on that coming ahead. >> while the teen pop star was not arrested, a rapper known as little. >> -- little za was taken into custody. >> wow.
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[ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. she's a mom, a fashion icon and as she tweeted yesterday, now officially an aarp member. michelle obama will be vetted at the white house in honor of her 50th birthday. guests were told to eat before they come and wear comfortable shoes. sounds like a lot of desserts and dancing are on the agenda. >> coming up, student discipline should be race neutral, shouldn't it? guidelines are actually up for debate on the right. that's next. there's a new form of innovation taking shape.
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so we've talked about how mandatory sentencing has created a disproportionate distribution of punishment in our criminal justice system. our schools are facing a similar problem in which harsh zero tolerance policies impact students of color, lbg students and others. the more students receive these punishments, the more likely these children are to fall farther and farther behind in school because they miss out in valuable class time. the farther behind they are, the more likely they are to misbehave. these same students who may have started out laughing too loud in class fall into a prison pipeline. the department of education
stated goals to "administer discipline without regard to basis of race, color or national origin." >> a new government directive for our nation's schools is already getting a failing grade by some for suggesting that punishment should be based on race. >> no, megan, that's not what these guidelines say at all the goal is to take race out of equation and ensure a fair implementation of punishment. research has shown it's a fact that 95% of out of school suspensions were for things like tardine tardiness. >> if you no longer allow a principal to make the decision to mete out policy based on behavior because the federal government thinks it's based on
group, that take away power from that principal and it's going to lead to less discipline and probably more trouble in those school. >> no, wrong again. these guidelines aren't taking anything away from principals. these guidelines offer different approaches to early intervention so cools are able to pick and choose what works best for them. i'm not quite sure if kelly was ro reporter said. >> they are asking them to get rid of the zero policies. the department of justice said 15% of the student population in this country are black but black students are three times more likely than white students to be suspended. >> this is not a belief. zero tolerance policies are more
likely to be applied to minority students and that's a fact. now you can't suspend students? >> i actually partially agree with eric holder for the first time in my life. he's right about zero tolerance policies, they're terrible polici policies. bringing race into it is where it complicates matter. >> i don't thi >> wrong, wrong, wrong! it doesn't say schools have lost the ability to suspend students where appropriate. members of kelly's panel did agree there be problems with the policies currently in beast. here's michael moynihan. >> they're basically telling them don't throw the kids out of school but what do you with the one or two kids. >> you can't suspend them. they may be sitting in after school detention for a few days and what kind of punishment and threat is that? >> guys, you're the one that brought race into this. these guidelines merely address a growing problem in our school
that is based on a set of facts. okay, gentlemen, this should be fun. michael, let's talk about the guidelines first. they really do represent a very posive step forward. they're very thor oh offer a lot of suggestions and ideas for school. i think it was a positive thing. >> i think we have to praise the obama administration. this is a civil rights issue. these guidelines are protecting the civil rights of our children. this is not about race or color or creed or sexual orientation. this is about a civil rights violation these schools have been acting upon and the department of justice saying you guys can't do this anymore and here are some guidelines to help you not violate civil rights. >> isn't part of the point in these schools people don't necessarily know -- they're not conscious of the fact they're
violating these rates. some of this is based on biasses and it's saying we have to take a step back and look at this. >> i get annoyed when people make the issues of our community turn it into political ping-pong. all politics is local, right? so here's how it looks on the ground. you've got a black, a latino, a lgbt student that shows up five minutes late to class in your district, maybe miss kelly's district or in districts around florida. that kid leaves school in jail, in handcuffs. no matter what happens after that, they're covered in the sewage of the school and prison peopleli pipeline. we see every day young people being taken out of school and thrown into jail. we need to ask people what kind of america do you want to live in when our kids are being put into jail for things like showing up five minutes late to class.
>> the thing that irks he is when the right wing uses things like this to say obama is injecting race into the situation. there is a racial component but the whole point is to take race out of this. the "national review wrote," no one should be surprised by the obama administration's zeal for alleging racial discrimination when it isn't there. give me a break! >> as our great friend the poet jay-z said women lie, men lie, numbers don't. the data proves we have disproportionately disciplined young people of color than white kids. that is a fact. we have to protect the rights of those children. that is what the obama administration is do ing. we should all be thankful for this.
we should not say obama is injecting race. >> to the point you're making. let's talk about the pipeline. to the point just made, what ends up happening is -- you describe it for me -- kids kind of end up -- you get disciplined, you know, first time, second time, third time and then it's kind of a repetitive pattern for these kids. >> right. right. we see it, the earlier the numbers show it. the earlier the child has any interaction with the justice system, the higher the rate of resid -- recidivism for that child. zero tolerance in our schools are disproportionately affecting our children and it has a recurring effect on them the rest of their lives. they're discriminated after in employment and every other factor of their life.
youth international, if this is the america you want to live in, we categorically disagree. it's a scourge on our company. florida leads the nation in school-based arrests. all politics is local, like i said. these recommendations are fantastic but it's going to take a lot of work on the ground to make sure people obey this mandate. >> we're talking about perhaps an initial disciplining because they brought a nail clipper to school. the aclu has a host of issues. i know you know a number of them. we're talking about kids being harshly disciplined at different rates than their white counterparts but for things like laughing out loud in class or bringing their cell phone to class. >> i think that was the great disservice that megan kelly's show did. the teacher has to know -- the
guidelines say the teacher has to know they are responsible for discipline. far too often teachers are calling the police when a child is late for class or a child bring as nail clipper. they put a 5-year-old girl in handcuffs because she had a temper tantrum in kindergarten and took her to the precinct. if a student brings a handgun to school, call the authorities. these young kids who are being disciplined are doing nothing but showing up late, passing notes, laughing in class and they're being arrested for it. >> we're not talking about violent outbreaks. i got sent to the principal's office for doing stuff like that when i was in school, right? >> yeah. and you're right. like michael said, we're not talking about those cases. 95% of the cases are for non-violent offenses.
this is a problem based on that system we've been talking about. many times i've been here we talked about it. it's a system of mass incarceration. how do you make money by incarcerating people? you guarantee that you'll have inmates. the only way can you do that is by affecting the laws. they're criminalizing regular behavior, young people are being put into jail. it's going to have effects for anybody on the right who cares so much about the economy, who cares so much about the workforce, what are you going to do when you have a generation of people who can't vote, who can't engage in the democratic process, who can't pay taxes -- >> who can't read because they've fallen so far behind in school. i'm glad you guys are on this. i have to say i'm glad this was a co--project between the department of education and the department of justice. you can't underestimate the importance of the educational component to this. they are great resources and i think it's a great issue. we have to leave it there. >> that does it for me.
thanks open for joining us. be sure to tune in tomorrow. i'll be joined by aaron brockovich and the chemical spill in west virginia and how to keep our water safe. have a great night. is that true? says here that cheerios has whole grain oats that can help remove some cholesterol, and that's heart healthy. ♪ [ dad ] jan? [ coughs ] i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. hmm? [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel. thanks for the tip. [ male announcer ] no problem. oh...and hair products. aisle 9. [ inhales deeply ] oh what a relief it is. ♪
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